Following the kind representation of Mr Thomas P Broughan T.D and MS. Olivia Mitchell T.D on behalf of Irish Association of Self Builders to Minister for the Environment , Community and local government Mr Phil Hogan regarding Building Control (Amendment) SI 9, the response is as follows:
The Irish Association of Self Builders
To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the submissions from a group (details supplied) about the certification requirements contained in the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014; and if the regulations will be amended to reflect the concerns outlined by the group in question..
- Thomas P. Broughan.
To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will reconsider the proposed amendment S.I number 9 of the Building Control Amendment Regulations 2013 which if introduced could discourage the tradition of self builders here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Olivia Mitchell.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 28th January, 2014.
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Mr. P. Hogan)
I propose to take Questions Nos. 544 and 554 together.
The new Building Control Amendment Regulations which come into operation on 1 March 2014 will greatly strengthen the arrangements currently in place for the control of building activity by requiring greater accountability in relation to compliance with Building Regulations in the form of statutory certification of design and construction, lodgment of compliance documentation, mandatory inspections during construction and validation and registration of certificates.
The new regulations are necessary following the widespread instances of failure by owners, designers and builders to comply with their statutory obligations under the Building Control Act 1990 to design and construct buildings in accordance with the building regulations. These obligations apply to all sectors of the housing market, including the self-build sector.
Neither the Building Control Act or any regulations thereunder, including the new Building Control Regulations , place any restrictions on whom an owner may assign as a builder once the owner is satisfied that the builder is competent to undertake the works involved. An owner who intends to self-build will assume responsibility for ensuring that building or works concerned will comply with the requirements of the second schedule to the building regulations. They must undertake to do everything necessary to achieve this and to ensure they are in a position to certify the building or works on completion thereby taking legal responsibility as builder. The new regulations also require an owner to assign a competent, registered professional to certify the design prior to commencement and to inspect the works during construction so that the assigned certifier is in a position, in conjunction with the owner-builder, to sign a certificate of compliance on completion. A building project cannot proceed until such assignments (which may be one and the same person) have been made. Confidence in the builder will be a key factor influencing a professional’s decision on accepting a role as assigned certifier , in particular, and owners who intend to self-build will need to be aware of this.
My Department will be happy to liaise with the Irish Association of Self-Builders in relation to their concerns and to assist them in understanding their obligations in the context of the new regulations.
We would like to point out that the above response from the Minister Phil Hogan contradicts the wordings on document SI 9 and therefore until it is clear it should not be taken as the self builders being able to nominate themselves as builders.